Thailand Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) on Thursday lowered its economic growth projection for 2013 to 4.5 percent, with a growth range of 4 percent to 5 percent, from the previous forecast of 4.8 percent.
FPO director general Somchai Sajjapongse said the gross domestic product (GDP) growth target for the year was adjusted on the back of the slower than expected economic recovery of Thailand' s major trading partners and declining domestic consumption and private investment.
Somchai said he expected that GDP growth for the second quarter of the year would stand at about 4 percent, and more than 4 percent in the third and fourth quarters, enabling the economy to grow about 4 percent to 5 percent as projected.
He said the projection was based on the assumption that the economies of 14 of Thailand's major trading partners would grow 3. 4 percent, the price of Dubai crude oil would stand at 101-111 U.S. dollars per barrel, the exchange rate at 30 baht to the US dollar and the policy rate at 2.5 percent.
The main factor that prompted the FPO to lower GDP growth projection to 4.5 percent was the economic slowown in 14 major trading partners, he said.
But strong points that helped spur the economy this year included good expansion in the tourism sector and the country's strong economic fundamentals, he added.
The FPO has meanwhile lowered its export growth target for the year to 5.5 percent from 9 percent, said Somchai.He projected an inflation rate of 2.5 percent for the year, lower than the previous projection of 3 percent, in line with the declining global oil price, due to a drop in demand for oil caused by the global economic slowdown.